Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 breaks box office records

July 18, 2011 – 4:43 pm

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has broken opening weekend box office records by generating $169.2 million in the US and Canada. The film also broke IMAX records with a $15.5 million contribution. The Seven Sees Blog writes about the IMAX 3D version:

Among the seven (Irony? I think not.) box office records that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ broke its opening $169.2 million dollar weekend were two related to IMAX. The finale to the epic “Harry Potter” eight-movie franchise played in more than 3,100 3D locations, accounting for 43% of the domestic box office — $72.5 million. Of that, IMAX contributed $15.5 million, making “Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ the Best IMAX Opening ever, out-earning last year’s $12.2 by “Alice in Wonderland.” Globally, Potter also takes the Best Worldwide IMAX Opening title, beating the recent “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” with $23.5 million.

This final movie is the only one to go completely 3D; portions of previous movies were converted and last year’s “Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ contained no 3D footage as the movie wasn’t finished in time to be converted. But lightning was not going to strike twice where that was concerned. Planning began last November, according to IMAX Sr. Vice President of Film Production Hugh Murray, who served as 3D Stereographer on “Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” His team had meetings with David Yates, who directed the last four of the franchise’s movies, to get a sense of his overall vision. “‘Harry Potter’ is a story told in pictures and it’s a world of its own that people know and respect. It’s a kind of magical version of the everyday world,” Murray told The Seven Sees. “It was really important that there be nothing in the movie that distracts you from the story and nothing that makes that world seem less magically real.”

After taking inventory of all of their material, 12 different companies began the painstaking process of converting the 130 minutes of movie footage in February. “April and May were just crazy insane getting it all done,” he recalls. “It was nail-biting at the end, I have to say. It wasn’t a comfortable finish, it was a close call with a number of shots.”

The movie did get finished, of course, and then it was nail-biting time for movie-goers, anxiously awaiting that July 15th release date. What audiences saw in IMAX 3D was a treatment handled appropriately, adding incredible visual depth to the movie’s action-packed moments.

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UPDATE: More on Harry Potter‘s amazing box office performance:

ScreenDaily: Harry Potter breaks IMAX global box office record

MarketSaw: HARRY POTTER 7.2 Sets Massive New Opening Weekend Records! With Good Reason – It’s VERY Good!

Entertainment Weekly: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2’ breaks IMAX box office records

myFOXNY: ‘Harry Potter’ Breaks IMAX Record

The Hollywood Reporter: ‘Harry Potter’ Opening Weekend Breaks Box Office Records at Imax

Yahoo! News: Harry Potter dazzles Chicago fans and smashes box office records

ThirdAge: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Breaks IMAX Records

OK! Magazine: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2′ Beats IMAX Box Office Record

Hollywood in HiDef: IMAX, 3D cast Potter record spells